On Monday, a formal request from the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) was sent to Lloyd Day, administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), supporting the expeditious implementation of a section 32 lamb roast purchase program.
?The 19-percent decrease in slaughter lamb prices, which have been recorded since early November, was a major topic of discussion and concern during the sheep industry convention in late January,? stated Paul Frischknecht, president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI).
The persistent and recent volatility in the lamb market and the increase in lamb leg inventory points to a need for the reinstatement of the lamb purchase program.
Evidence suggests distributors stocked legs in late summer in preparation for heightened demand during the holidays; however, market didn?t meet expectations. Lamb purchases by the USDA could help correct this market inefficiency.
?As an industry that is experiencing its first year-on-year growth since 1987 and 1988, it is extremely important to keep this momentum going forward. A lamb purchase program should help clear the market and thus help support producer prices,? concluded Frischknecht.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33